Tuesday 18 September 2012


Today, a few short notifications a various kinds:

Last week, the Court issued an admissibility decision which sheds some additional light on the Salduz jurispudence (on the right to have access to legal assistance for suspects when being interviewed by the police). The 2008 Grand Chamber judgment, in which the Court found violations of Article 6 ECHR -(right to a fair trial), has already led to legislative and policy reforms in a number of state parties, but the extent of its reverberations remained somewhat unclear and has led to a lot of academic and policy debate. In the recent admissibility decision Simons v. Belgium (available only in French) the Court has now clarified that the lack of access to a lawyer during police interrogation, even if it may lead to a violation of Article 6 (in the case at hand the domestic remedies had not yet been exhausted on the issue), does not imply that the right to liberty under Article 5 ECHR is also violated.

Over at the blog 'Human Rights in Ireland', Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou has written a short blog post ('One of the Keys to the ECtHR Problems') about an aspect of the Court that is not often talked about beyond Strasbourg: its human resources policy. It argues that the fact that many lawyers are employed on temporary contracts may hamper the Court's effective functioning.

Julian Arato has posted a paper on SSRN, which is a forthcoming article in the Yale Journal of International Law, entitled 'Treaty Interpretation and Constitutional Transformation: Informal Change in International Organizations'. The article deals with the ways supervisory bodies interpret their constituent treaties, or as the abstract states:

The analysis focuses on one particular technique of interpretation: the doctrine of interpretation on the basis of the subsequent practice of the States Parties. I trace the use of this doctrine by three judicial bodies: the WTO-AB, the ICJ, and the ECtHR. The first organ represents a control, adopting a strict approach to subsequent practice. By contrast, I suggest that the ICJ and ECtHR have each adopted radically expansive approaches to subsequent practice, with the effect of transforming the powers and autonomy of the organizations to which they belong.
For curious readers: the photo was taken by a colleague of mine from the University of Amsterdam on the walls of the Palais de Justice in Brussels. 'EVRM' is the Dutch word for ECHR and 'Loi' is French for law. A suspect disappointed in the force and reach of the Convention?